Author Topic: Introduction To Showing  (Read 9168 times)

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Offline Jane S

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Introduction To Showing
« on: October 17, 2008, 04:51:42 PM »
How can I find out about showing/exhibiting dogs?

Here are some sites with basic info on exhibiting dogs in the UK:-

Are there any good books on showing dogs for beginners?

Yes, there are quite a few books on the market. Here are two suggestions to get you started:

“Good Showing: The New Exhibitor's Guide to Dog Showing and the Showring” by Peggy Grayson

“Showing Dogs: The Exhibitors' Guide” by Juliette Cunliffe

NB: When considering a book, make sure you choose a UK publication as there are also many US books on the market. These books may well be useful but the American show system is quite different to that of the UK so you may well end up getting quite confused if you buy an American book by mistake.

How do I train my dog for the show ring?

The best way is to find a local ringcraft class where you will be taught how to stand and move your dog for the ring and also give your dog the opportunity to socialise with other dogs, big and small. You can search for Kennel Club registered ringcraft clubs by using this page HERE or you may find adverts for classes on the notice board of your vet surgery or pet store. You could also try posting on this board for recommendations for ringcraft classes in your area.

There are also some books available on training dogs for the show ring using positive methods which some might find useful :

“Showing Your Dog (Positive-Training)” by Cunliffe, Hearn & Pollett

“Positive Training for Show Dogs: Building a Relationship for Success” by Vicki Ronchette

How do I found out what shows are on and where?

  • Championship/Open/Limit Shows (where entries must be made in advance)

    The Kennel Club has an online show diary which contains details and contact information for upcoming shows: (Click on Events Diary)

    You can also find adverts for shows in the weekly dog newspaper, Our Dogs. :

    This site is also a resource for show details:

    You can also download schedules/entry forms for some Championship & Open Shows at the following sites :

    If you attend ringcraft classes, you’ll also usually be able to pick up schedules for local open & championship shows there.

  • Companion Shows (entries made on the day)

    There is no central directory or calendar for companion shows but you will find them advertised in the two weekly dog papers, as mentioned above. You should also keep an eye on your local press and the noticeboards of your pet store/vet surgery for adverts, particularly in the summer months when companion shows are more popular (they are still run in winter but there are many more during the summer, often held in conjunction with village fetes etc). Flyers can also often be picked up at ringcraft/training classes etc. You can also check our Companion show thread HERE where members are free to post details of upcoming shows.

What is a show judge looking for?

At KC shows, the judge must compare each dog with the Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard to find the dog nearest to this ideal picture of the breed. You can find the Cocker Breed Standard HERE but if you want a more detailed explanation of what the standard actually means, you should consult a good book on the breed such as “Cocker Spaniel:Best of Breed” edited by Derek Shapland or “Cocker Spaniels Today” by Joyce Caddy. If you’re unsure about references to certain parts of the canine body when reading through the breed standard, this illustration should help:Points Of A Dog

If you want to learn more, you could also look out for Breed Seminars which are sometimes organised by the various Cocker Clubs and are usually advertised in the dog press. These seminars are aimed at training and assessing judges and usually contain a talk on the breed standard by a breed expert (complete with live model) which could be very useful for those new to the breed. Observers/spectators are generally very welcome at these seminars (and pay a reduced fee to attend compared to students)